Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Elder Tayler Norman Biehn

Brother and Sister Biehn,

Our, (YOUR) Elder Biehn is headed home to you as I'm writing this email to you. We left for the airport at 4:00 am this morning, and he is on his way home to your loving arms.
President Huntsman and I spent a beautiful day in the Washington DC Temple yesterday with his departing group of missionaries. What a joy and sense of peace this brings at a conclusion of a mission. We then headed to the mission home for dinner and testimony sharing. He bore a powerful testimony of a convert that he was close to and then to be able to go back to the temple with this person, and how it brought the gospel full circle for him as he served here in Northern Virginia.

We have been blessed to have him here serving along side us. He has been a powerful influence in the Spanish program and to the other missionaries. His example has been one that we have been grateful for in this mission.

Enjoy your sweet reunion today, and please know we have loved your son very deeply, and our love with continue as he now returns and continues in his gospel progression
Our appreciation to you both for raising a great missionary.

Love,President and Sister Huntsman

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6, 2017 - Elder Biehn's Last Weekly Update

Well here it is. The last email of my mission.

It's been a mix of emotions this past week. Enjoying the last little bit of my mission but the shock and realization that the end is really here. I don't really know how to describe it. Probably just a mix of anxiousness and nervousness. I feel ready to go but I don't want to leave. JUST A BUNCH OF CONTRADICTIONS. I'm totally excited that I get to see my family again but sad I will be leaving all the friends I have made here in Virginia.

The one most important thing that has happened over the course of my mission has been the growing of my testimony. I know my Savior lives and that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father. I got the chance to teach and preach these truths in a language that wasn't my own and I have learned and come to love the Hispanic culture. This really is the Jesus Christ's restored church on earth with all the truth, priesthood, revelation, miracles, and just about everything else. I bare you my testimony that this is true, he Book of Mormon is the word of God, and Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. This I say in the name of Jesus Christ.


Monday, January 30, 2017

January 30, 2017 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody!

This week we had some recent changes come to us from the missionary department. We had a world-wide mission broadcast happen this past Wednesday where we received training from the mission board which consists of Elder Oaks, Elder Bednar, Elder Anderson, and a few other people. So after about 2 hours of awesome training for us as missionaries they made the announcement that they are changing the missionary schedule effective immediately. So in the mornings we no longer study for 2-3 hours straight. Instead we have our planning session in the morning at 8:30, we do personal study at 9, and right at 10 we are out the door proselyting. Then any time during the afternoon we can come back for companion study and language study. This is supposed to help us be more productive throughout the day because let's face it, no one is home in the afternoons. So that's one change.

Another big change is for our P-Day. If you noticed, this email came really early today. A lot earlier then I normally send them. That's because we get an additional 2 hours of P-Day in the morning! I'm sure all the missionaries around the world cheered when they made this announcement. It definitely it a help because P-Days are always so stressful because we have so little time to enjoy. Too bad this came literally on the last 2 P-Days I'm going to have. But oh well, I can still enjoy it.

The last change probably wouldn't sound too big for anybody else but it is HUGE for missionaries. They cut down the number of key indications we had from 9 to 4. We only are going to report on people baptized and confirmed, people on date, investigators at church, and new investigators found. I can see that this is really going to help missionaries be more focused on teaching repentance and baptizing converts which has been our theme ever since January 2016. It'll put more emphasis and finding new people and getting them to church and teaching about baptism. It'll be a great step forward.

Speaking of new investigators, me and Elder Malmstrom found 3 new investigators this week! It was pretty great because we haven't had a ton of success in finding new people to teach recently. But it is starting to pick up! The English class that we are teaching is also helping a ton. It is getting us in contact with a bunch of people and from there we can introduce them to the gospel. So far we've gotten two people to agree to listen to the message and there are a total of 20 people in our class. Pretty good right? Everyone in the Ward is super impressed by the success we have been having.

Speaking of the English class, we had a couple of guys from Iran show up to our class. So I had no idea how to teach them because I only speak English and Spanish. I don't speak Prussian.  But it wasn't too bad. Thankfully they already know some English so what little they did know I was able to communicate to them and they could learn from what we wrote on the board.

Well that's about it for this week! It's been a good week. And next week will be my last full week as a missionary. Still not sure about how I feel yet. I'll probably let you know next P-Day. It'll be more real then. But until then love you guys and the church is true!

Elder Biehn
My Christmas apron

We got these super awesome aprons for Christmas so I decided to make some hash browns. I know I probably didn't need an apron for that, I just wanted an excuse to use it.

Here's the crew. The other two missionaries are the English elders that are in our Ward with us. We are together basically every single day, haha.
The Crew

Monday, January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey Everybody!

So before I start this letter, yes I realize that I only have about 2 weeks left and it is a really really weird feeling.

But this past week was pretty good! We have been doing a lot of finding recently and we all know how that usually plays out. Lots of rejection and not having much success in teaching people. But the thing I love is that no matter how much rejection and rude people you run in to, once you get a good contact and a return appointment it makes it all worth it. For example, Me and Elder Malmstrom were out tracting in the afternoon in a very Hispanic neighborhood. We weren't having much success but we kept going until we got to one particular house. We knock the door and a guy answers and tells us he was just barely studying the Bible. He then proceeds to tell us Joseph Smith is no where in the Bible and how apostles are no longer necessary because Christ established his church and blah blah blah. Bashing. Then later that same night we were checking on a referral from the English missionaries. We knock on the door and this lady answers. Same exact thing, in fact she seemed extremely offended that we were even knocking on her door. Two Bible bashers in the same day. BUT the next day we were checking on some potentials and we found this lady who met with the missionaries a couple of years ago and really liked them. But for some reason they stopped coming. So we got a return appointment for today and she seemed decently interested! So thumbs up for that.

Me teaching English class
We've also had the chance to start teaching English classes. They have been going on for about two weeks now and have been super successful! This past Thursday we had about 20 people show up and we were able to go over the basics of English. The point of doing these English classes is to find new people to teach and we have all these people coming to us. We have been able to talk to one person to get a return appointment. That's the hope for the rest of them, be able to eventually teach them all English AND the restored gospel.

So next week should be pretty successful. This week was kinda slow because a lot of our investigators had things going on but they pushed it to this week. We also have lots of return appointments for new investigators this week so it should be really good!

Love you all and talk to you next week!

Elder Biehn

Only 2 more letters!

Monday, January 16, 2017

January 16, 2017 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

Hey everybody,

So this is going to be kind of a long letter. I had an amazingly awesome week. First of all, this letter is a little late because we just got back from going to the temple. It was the one day the temple is open on a P-Day so we decided to go. Apparently a ton of missionaries thought to do the same thing so there were so many missionaries in the temple.

Elder Mitchell Wach from the DC North Mission
Now the highlight of the week. Probably a highlight of my mission. Actually even the experience of a lifetime. We had a combined mission conference with the D.C. North mission and we had 4 70s that are assigned to the area and even Elder Rasband and Elder Ballard come. Thats right WE HAD TWO APOSTLES COME TO VISIT THE MISSION. It was so awesome.

This was crazy because the 2 missions never interact. And I mean NEVER. But was a great experience because I got to see one of my friends that is serving in the D.C. north mission. It was probably the one and only time I will see him.

It was awesome being able to hear the apostles speak up close and personal. We even had the chance to shake Elder Ballard hand! It really helped to make them seem more human and not these far off people that I see on tv and never meet. Now I can say I've met two of them!

Their talks were amazing as well. Totally not prepared and they just went off of the spirit. I got so many good notes on what they talked on. They talked a lot about the power we have as missionaries and how our desires affect our successfulness. They both used the scripture about how the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. And also how our joy will be great if we bring even one soul unto God. If we want to find the most joy then we need to be focused on God's purpose which is to bring more people into the gospel. That's all D&C 14, 15, 16 and 18 talks about. Now I understand how someone can be so committed to the work of Salvation like the apostles are. It's because they found how to align their will with Gods will to bring in souls.

It was such an awesome week and I'm super excited to keep going for these last 3 weeks. We got a promise from Elder Ballard that if we can talk to 10 people a day we can double the number of baptisms we have in this mission. We have someone that is getting really close and it could potentially be my last baptism before coming home.

Love you guys!

Elder Biehn

I'm behind Elder Ballard in the second row of Elders

Monday, January 9, 2017

January 9, 2017 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

 Hey guys!

This is when it first started snowing
Winter has finally started for me. It's been getting colder gradually but this past week it finally plummeted. At the beginning of the week it finally snowed, which was pretty late for Virginia. But then it just kept getting colder. Today the low is going to be about 12. Granted that's not as cold as North Dakota (shout out to my cousin out there shoveling snow for everyone) but it's still pretty dang cold. I really had to get bundled up this week and it was weird because we would be outside and we were literally the only ones walking around. Now the cold did help to get us in a few doors because they would say, "Just come in, it's too cold out there." So that was an actual perk. It helped us get a new investigator too! As we were knocking  doors, this one woman let us in and after talking a little bit we found out that she was in the process of looking for the true church. She had had enough of churches because they all teach different things and basically she thought they were all corrupt. Needless to say we taught her about the apostasy and the Restoration, so we are stopping by later this week to check up on her.

Then it got cold
Hmm I can't really think of anything else cool that really happened. We went to the outskirts of our area where there is literally nothing but forest and then a random town in the middle of it. It was kind of a slow week.

BUT we did have an awesome experience with a part member family! So the English elders in one of the neighboring wards asked us to come along to a dinner with one of their recent converts. They needed our help because their recent convert and his wife were from the Dominican Republic and she only spoke Spanish and no English at all. So it was a really cool opportunity to go and teach them because he had the opportunity to share his testimony and this was really her first real involvement with the church since the other elders only ever taught in English.

So yeah, that's a basic summary of my week. We also had our first ever multizone conference, which just so happens to be my last zone conference.

Love you guys and talk to you next week!

Elder Biehn

Monday, January 2, 2017

January 2, 2017 - Elder Biehn's Weekly Update

My old district in Old Town
Another of my favorite families

Hey guys!

Well, as the title says and due to having transfers this past week, I've been transferred to an English Ward. But don't worry, this Ward just so happens to have a Spanish group attached to it so I still get to be a Spanish missionary. It's just weird because I'm doing a lot more with a regular Ward than I've done in my entire mission in total. And it's only been 4 days!
One of my favorite families

So the strangest part is that I got transferred. I totally thought that Old Town was going to be my last area and I was going to finish my mission there. WRONG. At least now I'm 100% positive I will be finishing my mission here. Haha. Last transfer and all. But the group is awesome and so is the English Ward. It is called Potomac Crossing and the Spanish area is huge! All of us in the Spanish program refer to his area as "banishment" (that's why is said I got banished) just because it is so far away from everything. It is the strangest thing because we cover most of the stake by ourselves and we are the only Spanish missionaries for miles. And our area is at least an hour away from the next closest Spanish area so we literally have no contact with any other Spanish missionaries. It's really weird and something I'm still getting used to having served in complete wards my whole mission. But hey, this is an interesting challenge! There are so few people in the group that we just meet in the Relief Society room for sacrament meeting. I felt like one of those missionaries that goes and serves in an area that doesn't have a ton of members, barely enough for a branch. So that is a cool feeling. Plus being a part of the English Ward means that we don't go hungry... ever.  Dinners everyday are super nice and it is a super nice area too. Like everyone has really nice houses. We cover a couple of cities but the two biggest ones are Leesburg and Ashburn. And man, this is a really nice area. It's clean and well kept, a lot different than crowded dirty Alexandria that I was serving in before. Don't get me wrong, I love the city atmosphere but this is a nice change. Speaking of Alexandria, I was super sad to be leaving Old Town because there were a lot of cool members there and with it being the holidays I didn't get to say bye to a lot of them. But I guess that just means I'll have to come back to visit some time 😁

So I bet you're probably wondering about my new companion. His name is Elder Malmstrom and he is from Utah. He's been out about 15 months and he is REALLY quiet and soft spoken. But once he feels comfortable then he starts to talk more.

So my last transfer is finally here! Wow, I never thought this day would come. But hey, I'm glad I'm in this area so that way I can keep a strong effort going to keep working because this area needs experienced missionaries so that one day it will finally become a branch and then its own Ward!

Love you guys and talk to you next week!

Another of my favorite part member families
Me and Elder Malmstrom
Elder Justesen went home this transfer
Elder Biehn

Plus IT STARTED SNOWING! It was the weirdest thing because it was 40 degrees and sunny. Gosh dang Virginia weather, breaking the laws of physics.